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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  May 29, 2013 2:00am-6:01am EDT

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democracy promotion in humanitarian intervention. you try to rate carefully to make sure your in favor of democracy, but you talk about danger of promotion as a central goal and you have an interesting switch of doctrine, where the idea of humanitarian intervention has been enshrined as the responsibility to protect a "star wars" character rtp and he proposed that it be changed to the responsibility to respond our two hour. can you talk about all of that? >> a democracy promotion is a worthy thing. it is to obviously treat their citizens better as well as neighbors better. the problem is mature democracies are hard to bring about. amateur democracies can be quite
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dangerous. jacked b quteu . .onalists on an intolerant of minorities and aggressive towards their neighbors that we see a lot of that in the greater middle east today. so i just raise questions about what we can accomplish and i also spam a pragmatic level, we in the united states need to be prepared to deal with non-democracies. we need to deal with nondemocratic china. we simply set aside and say until you democratize, will work with you? we don't have that luxury anymore than the cold war on stabilizing the arms race
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because it was an system. it's got to be about priorities and i would say promoting stability in the world as a priority out to be fairly high. the question of humanitarian intervention. again, the world seven or eight years ago signed a to the responsibility to protect. there is kind of a collective buyer's remorse and ever since then, the world has enacted because many countries are against it because they say hold it. if we open up the borders of the country, this'll be used against her salary. the russians or chinese or indians getting nervous about this concept, that's why. they are nervous about many sovereignty and governments are worried about the price tag.
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if you believe there is a collective responsibility, where is the collective responsibility in syria? i haven't noticed one country volunteering for the military. if you're serious about wanting to do something, forget about no-fly zone. forget about all this that people are banding about. throughout the country and put in hundreds of thousands of people for a decade and deal with it. that's two of the high price to pay for to insert up an outcome. so we set the global standard, which in my view is rather than be cynical and raise expectations, but sabre cannot have a responsibility to respond and look at each situation for what it is to determine the most appropriate response, what we are willing and able to come up
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with in the way of resources rather than holding an image of international relations that doesn't exist. >> this book is full of aphorisms. one does capture something important. the united states is not made the world permission but it does need moral support to succeed. every reviewer and 32 defendant because it's defensible. >> will find it themselves. i give you a chance to respond preamp way. here and elsewhere in foreign policy, inconsistency can be a virtue. explain yourself on that. >> it's very hard to save the situation as well as the promotion of democracy first arliss but the saving of innocent lives first or never going to tolerate certain
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outcomes. we have to be careful about this. i can come you never want to conduct foreign policy. he got to look at local realities, but you can accomplish and what price. this idea what i think it will take to succeed in this instance, what will that further interest around the world? what for all the challenges and commitments here at home? i do not have unlimited resources. policymakers do not have unlimited time. so what is that we want to choose? that forces you into inconsistency and that's the beginning of a mature public policy. >> thank you had a couple more questions and i want to open this up to the audience. just something a lot of people would be interested in is he very specifically criticized the idea of war on terror and you
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know that al qaeda did great harm on the cheap, meaning it was not at all a powerful group today before or the day after 9/11. could you talk about why the war on terror is a bad frame for frame terrorism? >> at on a hopeful frame for a number of reasons. sometimes terrorists no box cutters are available at hardware stores. it's not like they wave their hands and say here we are. there's no battlefield. there's no gettysburg. every shopping mall, every finish line as part of this struggle. there's not going to be a ceremony where these groups will say okay we did then and now were willing to live normal lives. this is now part of the
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infrastructure. the analogy i use is disease. disease is part the framework. we try to protect yourself also said machen has sons and when they get sick, try to respond envelop his dalliance into our systems. same thing with terrorism. you have a layered approach and keep it at a manageable layer and succeed in this rep team your life any more than absolutely necessary. >> phallus question as a whole series of subjects that i don't think you ever expected to write about, where you talk about the last part of the book, proposals on energy education, infrastructure, economic growth and political reform. for the record i have disagreements about union and approach the deficit.
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>> they won't be emerging. >> you may be closer to you on the next question. i also was surprised -- pleasantly surprised by some interesting names you do enjoy filibuster reforms that suggests compulsory voting is some thing that can be for. you talk about popular election of the united states. and like to ask you, what was it like to think about a whole series of questions that she probably had not thought about since you are an undergraduate? >> my critics will show this for a whole set of question. >> are getting rid of all the criticisms of premier source anything should be praised. >> when i looked at the challenges facing this country, particularly domestically, some
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would have us do as a challenge than and coming together to meet the challenge. economic problem or schools from the market structure problem or integration and you don't agd caracalla g. very quickly you get to the political functioning or lack thereof. it seemed to be experts can spend their time trafficking ideas about this is that we had to do whether it's on gun control or immigration reform but have you. unless you figure out how to get the political marketplace to respond more to the general interest rather than the special-interest come you're not going to get very far. what i tried to do is think about reforms that could make the system more responsive to majorities rather than an end by minorities. the problem as they say is the very first is that the assistant
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to the place of ben will resist this change. same reason you're not going to get reform of the u.n. security council. any reform has winners and losers and shockingly enough, the losers will resist it. i ended up thinking it made sense to traffic in put up these thoughts. i do think there's one or two ways things could turn out better. one is the way i fear, which is only after a crisis have essentially business as usual is no longer sustainable. the problem is we pay an enormous collective price for the crisis. this is not the way any of you should want things to happen. the alternative is something of a new majority or plurality for reforms we need. i think aker, about for leadership willing to willing to in some ways combine the best of fdr, the fireside chats for
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policy reform and lyndon johnson and some good retail politics to bring it about. it's a longshot? are. is it possible? definitely. no way have they given up. americans can be counted on to do the right thing, but only after they've tried everything else. the real question for me is whether we get time before the crisis forces us to undertake reform a fire wurster said that ascent thing we should have a policy want to avoid at almost any cost. i don't have a crystal ball, but i would simply say i don't think we have forever. when you look at projections for things like entitlement obligations five, 10 or so, that's roughly the time i think we have a few years of budgetary reforms. the energy transformation has
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bought a somewhat good time. also to immigration reform. there are some deep overhang so we've got to deal with. i don't believe we've gotten unlimited when no. >> let me open it up to the audience. what have i mic going around. sir conor red on the. [inaudible] >> in the u.s. ranch where everybody was on board. the u.s. came making money. >> closer to the night. >> the u.s. turkey was backed by your pants. why is that? >> the question was why is there so much support for the united states in 1990, 1991 as their shield -- they raise them as
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1990, 1991 was based on the one i had of international law and the mrs. world that to come in the idea of sovereignty and the idea that territory should not be acquired by physical force. when saddam hussein did that, the world rallied around that principle, rallied around the united states taking the league and yet the sun dress and a coalition and also the fact they were kept limited at the world focused on that was different approach. it is to transform undertaken a preventive à la terry action for such things as no international support and more questionable legal underpinnings, so it comes as no surprise the second iraq
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war enjoyed touchless international support. it just shows the phrase international community bandied about all the time, but it's inaccurate term. in some areas there is an international community, but most areas is precious little. >> taxpayer, please. >> wait for the mic if you would. >> mark legg -- [inaudible] >> richard come you started out by saying that to not tilt at windmills look for interventions in places like iraq and afghanistan. but to say we shouldn't pursue interventions to shape new regimes doesn't necessarily mean we shouldn't focus on the middle east and southwest asia. the arab spring has happened. don't we have to engage that process and if we don't, is it not living in a gated community?
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>> fair enough. interventions are shorthand for military interventions just to be clear. and yes, not acting is just as much as a policy is acting. but the case like egypt or go see the united states should engage at the most important dimensions are political and economic and i simply say egypt is one or 21 quarter of the arab world. we have a stake in its outcome. we have to make clear the kind of outcomes we want and the economic rent is to put on the table if you move in those directions. is your sovereign decision whether to note that qualify for that support. yes we have influence. our influence is less than interests. we cannot dictate those, so i think they are what engage diplomatically and economically and make clear to the egyptians their choices will have
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consequences with us. this area we have a different set of tools and output its refugee flows and supporting a beeline to send us selective basis and legal support proposition sus certain criteria to put forth. coming back to my pjs point, inconsistency is unavailable. this is not an argument for hands-on. it's discriminating foreign policy for each situation based upon not just entries, but a realistic assessment of what we can achieve at a certain cost given local reality is somewhat also got to keep in mind given the full range of interests we have for policy and domestic policy. i want us to be involved, but in
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a fairly discriminating way. >> at one point in the book you talk about two distinctions. one is the desirable of vital and the other is a feasible and impossible. that goes to the point. way back they are on the website and the lady on the right side. >> chris britton. i was pleased to see you touch the topic of entitlements and are threatening to think about in the context of entitlement, social security, medicaid and medicare but also tax expenditures. the utility of your contribution is to that the national security foreign policy dimension to this issue is largely seen in economic competitiveness in demographic context. so my question to you is whether you you see, how you see the national foreign policy
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dimensions of the entitlement challenge and a tax expenditure challenge affecting the incentives of voters in capitol hill leadership in congress and the white house. >> if i could piggyback on mac, i was surprised about the possibility of bonnie's defense case. i'm averse to cutting defense budget. >> far more important how much we spend on defense within limits is how we spend at. i can get a better defense for 475 billion someone gave her 500 billion depending how the money is allocated. so often the debate about defense spending is on the symbolic. if you're in favor of the full request your prodefense in a hardliner and if you're a verb
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and 80% cut, that makes you anti-defense. it all depends on the details. either way, look at health care. we have a choice of spending on health care for every other country outcomes aren't any better. clearly how much we spend on health care is not the case. we spend an awful on education and k-12, get the outcomes don't prepare with the world. so how much was spent on k-12 education again is not necessarily the decisive point. so why is defense different? let's be smart about it. obviously at the cut are too crummy enough, there's no way to do it smarter or do it right. the congress not to is want the feelings are decided, get the sense leadership more discretion in making choices under the ceiling. that's me with the and economic
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or security determination are proudly but then don't micromanage the process. the first question of what i tried to do is introduce a national security lines and are too often seen in the silo called the master. whether it is education or something like tax policy and all that, my argument is simply are not able to be strong for a long must we put this economy on a sustainable rate to reduce vulnerability to potential cut off the flows of dollars were what have you and not more than anything will mean in the long run, fixing entitlement and sensible things on social security and even more in medicare, the bulk of it. tax expenditures, areas that
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make the ceiling on deductions people can take remains testing. what i'm trying to say is we don't have the luxury of seeing things as divorce or national security. a lot of are integrated debate in this country. for too often, too many people have basically said i'm in favor of america's national security but when they turn to economic issues or social issues, they have an approach thinking about what the consequences are for national security. i want to increasingly integrate how we spend because people can think more systematically. >> the lady win the back. >> hi, catherine cheney, reporter for world politics review. assuming your section on restoration within the country how you selected the areas of focus you decided to focus on
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their first evolved you selected subjects in other areas you didn't include in the book perhaps because they didn't work on their own bovary suggests the u.s. places focus in terms of solving domestic problems. >> i chose the areas they chose. infrastructure, immigration, schools, budget and so forth, tax policy because they were the most important. i read a lot of literature as e.j. suggested that i had not been reading for a while. one of the interesting parts of us to explore more fully debates outside the traditional aren't policy and national security landscape in an increasingly became clear these are the principal drivers if you make a list of what was driving things, this is where i came out. ultimately you can have an
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unlimited list if you look at the budget, every category of things there is spending on. you could look at all sorts of political arrangements. i chose the ones i did based upon what i thought explained where we were. whenever an author writes a book, you never expect -- i would love that debate to happen. i would love to have poor people look at our economy and say we've got to do this differently because here's the connections and repercussions for u.s. national security. one thing i read about in the book is beyond k-12 education is we don't have a very good capacity to think about life on education. most of the education in this
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country is front loaded, whether high school, college, no matter how you slice and dice it unless your kid is on 15 year plan come you'll be done with formal education somewhere in the early to mid 20s. when i'm given life expectancy and jobs, that means you've got 45 decades decades at least to work after that. the idea that the national tank of gas will get you through the next 40 or 50 years, inconceivable. so what are we as a society going to do to put in place mechanist is for true lifelong. in naming certain types of economic arrangements, tax benefits are different support so people at the age of 45 can get retrained. otherwise i worry about a
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society, most suddenly they do several jobs, the suddenly in mid-40s are no longer adequate. part of the problem we face now. it's a useful debate we have time. >> moving up the line, the gentleman in the aisle and then david. >> called .., department of state. dr. haass come you come the invention have been attacking us in for as we approach foreign policy and national security posting a comment inconsistency can be a virtue. but two seem contradictory. how do you square the circle? >> excellent question. inconsistency is a dark nice
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approach. >> the answer is adapter and history framework, a first-order way of thinking through things that may be an particular case says he got exceptions and it makes you are the trade-offs and gives you a going in position. i go in and position would be less than the middle east all things equal appeared more in asia, more north america, were domestically. so then i come up against syria and for me to say i want to put a limit on what we can do there for obvious reasons based upon my doctrine. my knowledge of experts tell me is the reality reinforces that approach. a doctrine is not a straitjacket. it doesn't provide 26 step answers to every challenge. the 36,000 feet intellectual and political approach. it's a very good way for
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explaining things. the local reality points you towards inconsistency, that okay. then you know you've got to deal with that, whether it's in your public explanation are your account or has the potential cause. >> if you guys stay up front because then we'll move -- >> davis: i'm a retired state department. richard, first of all a research year used the term weapons of mass destruction. could we retired back from the vocabulary because erases everything from nuclear to chemical and you know better than anyone what abusive use is made up in iraq to the iraq war. my question as you said it may take a price that is to get us
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to get our act together. we've just been through a serious economic crisis. why is this so little has changed quite why was this not a learning on that? was at a leadership on the part of the administration? >> the question of mass destruction is recently criticized. inconsistency among critics must also be a virtue. i think it was this weekend are trained to do is she just suggested, for suggesting on all weapons of mass destruction activity captured and chemical weapons like to be considered something different. let's put that aside. you're right we have a crisis on many issues, most recently 2000 that wasn't enough, which is interesting. one of the reasons those say it's going to take a crisis to
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shake things up. medium-size crises don't seem to do it. so that suggests the crazies might have to be a true running, that reinforces the worst possible way to undertake reforms. we seem to have a considerable ability to avoid taking tough decisions or you go back to usual. but the situation in a, connecticut. 90% of the american people want action on gun control mechanic at her piece of legislation with basic background checks passed. said the ability to pay from crisis to action, particularly legislative action is not one-to-one. which again suggests to me would be extremely severe.
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in makes the case for leadership before the crisis forces our hand under truly awful circumstances. >> that young lady there which are called on. yes, go ahead. >> rebecca chamberlain. i'm currently at the world bank. my question is i like what you're saying and it reminds me very much of the paper i write when i was at the wilson center called the mr. white paper and it is resonating what you say about national security. i wonder how you may be differing from this paper? >> allows i do not know mr. white. by the way, this title is used before 60 years ago.
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the >> which richard notes in the book. i would hope this idea is one that resonates. i'm not familiar what you just alluded to. is an intellectual marketplace. people put out ideas for what we should and should not be doing abroad and at home. i hope other people put up similar ideas and i welcome the competition people are putting out alternate ideas. as a former president once said, bring it on. >> the outcome was an ideal however. [laughter] won't use that line again. >> priscilla clapp, also retired from the foreign service.
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i agree with much of what you're saying. when i think about the solutions, i keep coming back to our congress. i haven't read your book, so i don't know what she say about him, but i'm so distraught about the state of our political system particularly in the congress awaits chosen, the fact people have to spend all their time raising money rather than taking in a country's problems. is there anyway to fix that? >> i read about congressional dysfunctionality. i think there's problems with how money operates in american politics. i think it's toxic. people spend way too much time doing it. that situation is going to get worse, not better. narrowcasting of the media has made a more difficult.
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everyone can find their own cable or internet site with the proliferation that makes it harder to build community. political parties have got much weaker, much less significant, so there's that. people can't appeal to one side or the other, rather than state legislatures. one or other subtle demographics. these approaches have limits. i'm not a political scientist at each ideas and several people in this room are. i don't think clever scientists can devise a mechanical solution to what ails us politically. that will depend more on restructuring politics work randomly, about dealing to get
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one or the other more towards the center or different ideas about trying to animate the political center or just an extraordinary individual and may take an individual who have roused support and they say both to have a working majority. are not going to be a parliamentary system. we do not have the advance of political efficient way. that was the idea here. the idea was soon make it somewhat inefficient. we succeeded not steroids. the question is how do we preserve its ventricle to the american system, which is checks and balances and the rest that without this degree. i was appointed in efficiency become dysfunctional? pulling back on the dancers are not so much mechanical as they
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are more in the realm of politics. >> thank you. i think there are no mechanical solutions to this problem. i think we're about out of time. were supposed to run at 7:30, correct? we could bring into question someone, that would be good. >> you can evade the hard one. >> i am robert kirstein. turning to the priorities you suggest, i am intrigued by the emphasis to north america. i have the impression north america was doing well, especially since nafta. >> is the second question somewhere. >> andrew leveritt said dhs. i'm interested in how domestic you are given the state of the body politic, the worst i've seen 29 years in washington how
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optimistic you are. >> this gives you to bring in and hope. and therefore -- [laughter] >> of north america, we are north america to 450 million people, probably another two decades, three decades america to 5,500,000,000 people. we are not energy self-sufficient. the site energy independent. not a terribly useful idea because the world is too interconnected. but we are energy self-sufficient and we have this extraordinary economic possibility. i think there is leveritt called a more integrated north america, particular if we find out ways of combining canada mexico with the united states as united
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states has reintroduced their trade agreements across the atlantic, one across the pacific we figure out who is the wiring together infrastructure. the potential of north america today the world's economic engine is real. when people ask me when someone optimistic, this is one of the reasons. the energy transformation is the north american phenomenon. the potential for economic growth. take a step that. it's one of our great advantages, one of the endowments of the united states is a neighborhood in the fact on our borders we have good relations with canada, mexico and mexico's reality far more diverse and are better than the real problem of guns and drugs but you've got a leadership they are in place that is in many ways political and economic reform in. mexico is a real success and
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again, the potential for north america is more tightly woven together, the question of how much and how fast is its potential to be good for 300 plus million americans as well as the world. this could be one of the great stories of the early 21st century. the president was there, but it is deserving of considerable high-level attention. why am i optimistic? the recent to be optimistic as severalfold. three of four years ago none of us would've seen that happen in energy. it shows you the capacity of innovation in the country still has the world's best universities. we've got hand, water, stable political system.
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even without immigration reform, we are by far the most up and country in the world to immigration at comprehensive immigration reform we do ourselves a favor. a surprising number have the root and people who have come to this country listen fairly modest changes to our lot to think to get economic growth stewart should be above 3%. we've got a balanced democracy compared to other countries with enormous numbers of old people. we have a better proportionality. it's another reason why the decline is the wrong. this country has enormous potential. the real question is whether politics would get out of the woods. i'm an optimist because i sent out pink do well in part because
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it's too discouraging to think about the alternative. was that the australian turner said america is one that should deal away from being a great power or something to that effect. there some into that. we budget deal to develop 3% lubricate abutted dls and some of what i'm suggesting here is getting more ingrained and there is something of a positive reaction on the foreign policy front. i think you can do to fight at the moment it's quite healthy. a certain reticence to repeat iraq and afghanistan and vietnam. a greater emphasis is healthy and recognition of the need possibilities of north america again i think is healthy.
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..
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>> there are also books that i think this pushes us to the debate we need as a country and whenever i am agreeing with him over the years that means he gets in some kind of trouble. [laughter] but i hope it means a lot of people read his book and think about a. it is about restoring the source of american power and restoring balance to what the united states aims to do in the world and how it does it. thank keogh. [applause] east."
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>> thank you, and thank you for this book store, and i appreciate everybody coming here i'm honored to be here. i want to ask you to be patient with me. this is only the second time i've talked about this book. just came out last week. so this might be a little rough tonight but hopefully we'll get through this well together. there are also many of my good friends here so that makes my extra nervous, and -- can you hear me? >> i can -- there we go.
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all right. i won't repeat anything i said because it wasn't any point to it all. i do feel -- it is awkward about the terrible event friday boston and my heart goes out to all the victims up there. it was a shocking thing. one of the people that is here is my brother, eric. we actually grew up or spent part of our youth outside of boston in a town called wellesley. where is my brother? did he leave? there he is. i went to junior high, eric went to high school and wellesley and then became a police officer there. he had friends that were sent down into boston to help out with the security down there. he now lives in northern virginia, and helps manage a helicopter ambulance service, still a form of public service. but i thank him and think of all the people in law enforcement did an absolutely incredible job in boston, and i just appreciate them for everything they do.
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there are a couple 0 friends i want to recognize tonight for a different type of service. for their journalistic service. one is missy ryan, who is right here in front. a colleague from reuters. for the last decade she covered the conflicts in iraq, afghanistan, pakistan, and libya, incredible bravery in those countries and incredible journalism. warren strobe l, an editor attritter toes. one of the team that got the weapons of mass destruction story right. he was then work with jonathan landay and they captain saying there was no proof of wmd, and larger companies did not pick it up. and then katherine, met in bosnia, training local journalists around the world,
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and doing an incredible job of creating media that hold leaders accountable and cover the corruption and other issues that haunt these countries i'm going to talk about in a bit in term of the book, i want to scale back your expectations. a cheap maneuver, i know, but i'm not going to offer any magic solution tonight for ending terrorism in our country. i don't have any silver bullet that will stabilize the middle east. the goal was to try to think about these challenges we face and think about this region in a different way, and i hope to provoke discussion of -- try to keep this short and i'm eager to take your questions. this should be a consideration, and i want to hear what you think. criticize what i have to say, and i want you to sort of drive this thing. the general view of the middle east is at the center of chaos, especially since the arab
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spring. you see news reports of endless street battles in egypt. syria is a blood bath, and it's sad what has happened there none of us know what to make of this, a positive thing or negative thing, the arab spring. and one message or vision want to give you is the way i look at the region -- and you can question me -- is that it is chaos. but i think there's a larger dynamic going on and an historic struggle going on right now across the middle east between sort of hardline islamists, some of them are violent, as we know, and more moderate muslims who i think are more secular, and they -- and i am not an expert in islam by my stretch but in conversations with these moderate forces and moderate individual, they talk about how they're very proud of being muslims and want to be both muslim and also want to be modern. and they don't see those two as
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inn conflict at -- in conflict at all, and i want to talk about that group, and the focus of my book, what was our track record on helping more moderate muslims and looking forward, there is more we do in the arab spring to back those groups and those people who -- they really don't want to be dictated to by american soldiers at gunpoint and forced to carry out american style democracy but they also don't want to be ruled by jihadists who are forcing them to live in this strange 12th 12th century -- >> i'm going to cite a couple examples that represent these two groups, and i have a bias because of my experiences, the kidnapping that was mentioned, and one group, the negative group that i see on the side of this and a group i'm biased against whoa wave been my guards when is was kidnap.
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i got to know these guys fairly well. they rotated during the seven months but all had several things in common. again, this would be the sort of more conservative, more radical side in the mideast that by no means represents the majority but the one you see and hear about on news the most. so when i was in captivity. most of my guards were afghan men in their late 20s or early 30s, all had limited education from government or religious schools, some didn't make it past high school, and none of them had seen a world beyond afghanistan and pakistan. there was one guard in particular who i lived with for six weeks, and he was preparing to be a suicide bomber, and i had many conversations with him about why he was preparing for this mission. he was a young man in his 20s, sort of slim with brown hair and brown eyes, and he said he studied engineering in high
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school but years later he was in the tribal area of of pakistan and guarding me and preparing for his suicide bombing. he was frankly better educated than many of the other guards. there were other guards that could barely reid -- read but he was lonning to go to college, and i asked him why did he want to be a suicide bomber in and he answered to me that living in this world was a burden for any true muslim, and that his real goal in life was to die and go to heaven. he said, earthly relationships with hi parents and siblings didn't matter to him. and he -- what was interesting, he was so well educated we were able to speak in english and he was puzzled be my and by the west, and he, like many of my other guards, was absolutely convinced the 9/11 attacks were staged and that there was a worldwide conspiracy by christians and hindus and jews
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to obliterate islam from the face of the earth, and they absolutely believed it. they absolutely watched these videos that kept showing evidence of this, and i think -- we can talk about it. i think this is potentially -- we don't in the what happened in boston but potentially this world that these young men were lured into. but they felt helpless, there was this worldwide conspiracy, they had no way to stop and it they were defending the faith and their culture and their way of life from this foreign assault. and he asked me questions during the time we spent together, and one of his questions was, he wanted to know if it was true that a neck tie like the one i'm wearing tonight was a secret symbol of christianity. he believed that as he saw afghans on local tv stations, government officials dressed in western clothes, they were being forced to dress that way and this was some sign they were part of the clinton -- conspiracy and he believed we
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are were weak and only cared about the pleasures of the world. i said i missed my family and he seemed amused. he was brainwashed that his religiousship with his family did not matter and it tacks a long time to brainwash these kids into becoming suicide bombers but a key thing was serving up his ties to his family, and i was treated well throughout my captivity, and one of the most interesting things about him was i was brought newspapers to read by my guards. they treated me fairly well and brought mening lesch language pakistani newspapers is and this is the more moderate side of pakistan. these newspapers would have ads for mobile phone companies in pakistan, shampoo, and the ads would show pictures of pakistani women with no scarves on show their hair, and after i would get rid of the papers this man would burn them because he felt that having these images in the
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living area where we were was a sin and if he didn't get act quickly enough and burn them and get them out of the house, he was going to go to hell. that's the sort of level of, frankly, despair and fear that these young guys feel, if they don't pray properly, if they aren't humble enough towards god, they're going through hell and this is the thing they read all the time. it was really dark and depressing. another side of all this -- this is the second half -- well, not the second half of my book but another way of looking at all this. i want to talk about the, whichness the book -- characters in the book and they represent different regions. i want to talk about a pakistani american -- a graduate of the university of wisconsin, he worked in silicon valley for a few years but decided he wanted
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to test himself, so he went, got some seed capital from the owners of different silicon valley companies and went back to pakistan and started what became that country's version of monster.com. and he also started pakistan's first dating web site. it's now the most popular web site in pakistan, and he is one of the most successful businessmen in pakistan. similar thing happened with another character in the book, a turkish engineer who worked in silicon valley for a few years. he went home, back to turkey, and he noticed something. the wi-fi systems in the united states didn't work well in turkey because the walls are very thick, and he initially tried to attract american firms to change the equipment, make it stronger so it would work through the walls in turkey. they wouldn't listen to him. so in 2004 he started a company
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called air ties, and today it's one of the largest tech companies in turkey. he has expanded this system across the middle east, beating cisco at its own game, and he is again an example of this new, more forward-looking business class that has emerged in the region. the last person is a few tunisian. and there was this brand new sparkling tower there, and he is the -- sorry -- the manager of a company called sunguard. they're an american software company, about 17,000 employees worldwide. they specialize in doing back office things. they have offices in india and that tower i went into was a joint tower built by sunguard and hewlett-packard, and on the
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sunguard side are 500 citizens and they speak french, particularly well educated ones, and what they're doing is back office work in tunisia for french consumers and they're doing very well so if you're calling a help line in france, you're likely get an operator in tunisia, who will help you with whatever your concerns are. they also write. software, and his team is that tunisia will be like an india, an outsourcing hub in the middle east. they're closer to france in terms of time zone he feels like they can compete with india in terms their wages are much lower. this is sort of the other side, and that is sort of growing modern side of the middle east that it hope, i think is representative of a different side of the region. to me what has happened today, the biggest issue, it's about
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jobs. at bill clinton said, it's the economy, stupid. the world bank estimates that if 50 million new jobs -- that's 5-0 -- million new jobs are not created in the middle east by 2020, already high unemployment levels across the region are going to explode, and i was surprised but in dog my research for the book, and even for this book tour, former obama administerings were sort of honest about what a poor job the u.s. is doing on an economic front. tom nyes, a former undersecretary of state for hillary clinton, has now left the administration. he told me flat out the united states government has done a terrible job of focusing on economic issueness the middle east. we need to be thinking bigger or we're going to wake up and ask, what happened? you have huge youth unemployment and no hope. and the frustration he expressed was similar to what i heard from hundreds of americans, republicans and democrats, civilians and soldiers in afghanistan and pakistan and
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iraq over the years. people that go into these countries all agree that security is vital, most important thing you can't have economic guilty without security but they realize in the long run the best way to counter militancy was creating economic growth. but that consensus in the field, at least, never seemed to arrive in washington. altogether we spent $1.2 trillion in iraq and afghanistan. and of that 1.2 trillion, 95% was spent on military efforts. and when we did make civilian efforts, they were sort of two dynamics that doomed the u.s. effort. one was this sort of anemic state oft our own institutions and the other one was kleptocratic local governments, and it's clear that in some places we did not have good partners, and no matter what we did, no matter how well we carried out our programs, it just simply wasn't going to
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work. what struck me was that i found sort of hundreds of american civilians, engineers, teachers, people that volunteered to go to iraq and afghanistan and pakistan, who found themselves trapped in this very difference functional american aid system. they felt it was dominated by creating what was called metrics, numbers, schools built, students enrolled, the number of politicians trained, that would impress members of congress, and as was mentioned earlier, for-profit contractors dominated the effort, and the rise of contractors is really a reflection of congress' lack of desire in increasing the size of the state department or usaid. it's much easier to vote for a larger military but not for a larger state department. these same dynamics i saw sort of continue, one person i met in researching the book was a
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tunisian, a 48-year-old ebay executive, and he was asked in 2011 to be part of a state delegation to notion, an outgrowth of president obama's 2009 speech in cairo, which was popular in the region and raised hopes there. and so what he did was he went to tunisia, morocco, and algeria with a grew of high-tech executives and angel investors, and in each country they stopped and the u.s. embassy sponsored a competition where young people would come up with business ideas for high-tech startups. and there were dozens of people that would apply. the top 50 would get to come in and meet these americans, and i wasn't there but i was told it was a very exciting day when the delegations came in. all these people were pitching ideas, and the winner in tunisia was actually a young woman who proposed creating a biotech startup, and the only problem was that the delegation realized as they were preparing and
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making this trip and then eventually choosing a winner, was that this program was so poorly funded there was no prize for the winning entrepreneur. so the members of the delegation cobbled together some kind of award for this young woman who won the competition in tunisia, and for the winners in algeria and morocco, and that reward what a three-month membership in a tech in detroit, michigan, and we have to do better than that. i think better track records exist in the the region. make people say turkey has its flaws in terms of democracy and the prime minister has done some outrageous things but economically, i see the european union process which, through many year causeed turkish leaders to reform their economy, as a positive model in terms of creating economic growth.
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turkey is not a member of the e.u. today but the turks don't care. they have a faster growing economy than any european nation. they growing in influence across the region and proud of it. in terms of other positive examples -- and i'm sure we'll get a spirited discuss on this -- it's a sad statement but the outgoing palestinian prime minister was focused on building police and security force skis just cite him as an example of the kind of leader that exists out there that we could potentially work with. obviously he is leaving office so that's not a great example. but i can talk more -- there's also president obama mentioned there's now 100 high-tech firms on the west bank, and i interviewed an israeli venture capitalist, and cisco invested in them and it's an area of the economy that can and should grow. what do we do about this?
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what that's answer? in terms of u.s. policy, i think we have to scale back what we're trying to do. i mentioned corruption, and i'll specifically name i think hamid karzai's government has been a huge impediment to things we tried achieve. there will be a new president in afghanistan in the next couple years, and hopefully it won't be one of his brothers. but if we don't feel we have a local partner, we should hold back in our aid efforts, and one thing that we can do is create more incentives, like this u. afternoon union system used in turkey. two years ago, secretary clinton can use used the term economic statecraft. any of you heard that? this is journalist thought. we don't right about these things. she declared in now 2011 in a speech that economic statecraft created jobs at home and abroad, and in terms of the middle east
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she called for the sophisticated effort to integrate the regions economies and proposed the creation of an incentive fund for a post arab spring countries, of $500 million, and just for comparison sake, that's -- we give 3 billion a year in aid to israel. so it was 500 million for all of to the post aye arab spring region. she proposed it to congress last year, and it was essentially dead on arrival. last week, john kerry proposed basically the exact same thing. roughly a $500 million fund to try to create incentives for these countries to enact reforms. if you enact reforms you get breaks in terms of aid itself and then eventually tariffs are reduced and other things that would hopefully help economic incentives to get people to actually do this. i'm not suggesting that we hurl tens of billions of dollars at the mideast. we tried that in iraq and
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afghanistan and worked terribly. specific examples, different people talk about. tom nyse, says we should use money from persian gulf states to fund businesses. and ryan crocker says we indiana to listen more. there are moderates in these countries. we sort of come in with an american agenda. we have to get these projects finished and get good numbers that will impress members of congress and we don't listen enough. last week another state department official, jose fernandez, gave a speech which i think the title is great, called" diplomacy in an age of austerity" and that's a reality we have to face. and he talked about trying to get american companies to sell in the middle east. in 2011 chinese companies sold $150 billion worth of goods
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across the middle east. that's twice the amount american companies sold in the region. one bright spot was actually the united arab emirates, which is where dubai is located. believe it or not, according to the state department official, the united states currently exports more to the united arab emirates than it does all of india. that's because there's a huge market for infrastructure and energy and those are areas we do very well in and we could be more aggressive in those areas, sort of competing with chinese firms and other firms. i mentioned this entrepreneurship delegation. that could be expand. any educational programs would help. and i feel that overall engagement with the region strengthens american security and doesn't threaten us. when i asked people in countries what was the worst thing the u.s. could do in the region, they said it was to launch another ground invasion. that would undermine them as moderates and play into the
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conspiracy theories what the u.s. was trying to do. said what happens you most, and they said private investment. they didn't wont aid or big debt programs. they said, educational opportunities. young people can come study here. given what has happened in boston that's difficult. they also said tourism interaction. they would love it if americans went to these countries. i would not ask you to go to egypt. they handled the transition poorly but there are other places and other ways we can interact economically that can produce positive results in the wake of boston, if we engage in this fortress mentality, that's what the extremists want to do, they want to make this a war between religions and want us to discriminate against muslims in this country, and it's very difficult to do. it's a tragedy what happened there. we have to be vigilant and fund our law enforcement and
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intelligence efforts, absolutely, but i think it's a mistake to overreact and play into their hands by becoming a fortress and allowing bigotry to dominate the way we respond to these things. i do believe, i guess in the end to sum it up, that over time i think prosperity and working with muslim moderates, not american soldiers and drone strikes, are the best ways to eradicate militancy. and i thank you all very much for listening to me and i'm eager to hear your questions. i know this is all very complicated topic and region of the world. thank you. [applause] >> hello. >> hi. >> i in no way disagree with your economic thrust but i was just reading earlier today on the internet, an article by a woman i've read before, an
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egyptian woman fleeing from islam, and she wrote a very, i thought, logical and critical attack on the idea of relying on moderates. so my question is, if you -- and i hope this doesn't seem impolite -- but if you know that in most muslim majority countries in the middle east, it's a death penalty offense to commit blasphemy very broadly defined, or -- what do your moderates say about that? >> i would say that the country that is most famous for that is saudi arabia. and i think that we have made a mistake over the years by alying ourselves with saudi arabia. they have spread in the region this very conservative interpretation of islam.
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i don't -- i'm not maybe -- if i'm wrong i apologize -- i don't know of anyone in turkey who has been prosecuted or executed for blasphemy. jordan, i don't know that happening. tunisia. >> pakistan? a minister that was attacked -- >> yes. i agree. but what do we do? there are people like him, the governor, who was assassinated because he criticized the blasphemy law himself son was actually accidentally kidnapped be the taliban and remains in captivity do we abandon this effort? do we reward his assassins? i'm trying to argue there's two groups here. he was a brave man, a moderate muslim trying to -- lost his life in this struggle going on for the control of the state, and my question is, how can we help people like him? and there are many -- benazir
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bhutto, yes, she was killed, but i would say she was the kind of person with a vision and that the interpretation of islam that we should be working with. so, i don't -- i think if we give up on the religion, that's what they want us to do. they want us to see all of them as this sort of extreme right wing, if you will, of islam. i don't think that's representative of a faith that covers a billion people all across the world. and so i just -- you can disagree with me but that's my interpretation. thank you, though. >> i have a very simple question. were the ongoing shell gas revolution -- you know what i'm talk about -- what kind of impact on the middle east and could it -- disappear from he
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headlines and stop worrying about what is going on in qatar or something like that. >> i think that it's going to -- the shale gas revolution, the fracking, the increase in the energy supplies in the u.s. will change our foreign policy. my concerns china gets 70% of its energy supplies from the middle east. india about the same. and europe as well. and the global economy is so interlinked that even if the u.s. isn't dependent on middle eastern oil i feel like unstable in the region will hurt the chinese economy and the european economy. so, i think we should step back, do less, not engage ground invasion but not ignore the middle east, because it's going to -- turbulence there will impact the worldwide oil prices. and we have seen it with the european debt crisis. if there's economic problems in europe, we have economic
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problems here. sure. >> going back to -- sorry. >> that's all right. >> going back to this gentleman's question, if you think about iran, say, about the middle east, but you have the same moderate, we hope, some moderate muslims, and then you have the ruling elite, which are -- who are very radical muslims. how can we support the moderate without tainting them in the eyes of their own people? it's a problem in iran, it could be a problem in egypt. it's certainly a problem in pakistan that association with americans is toxic. they lose all their credibility
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with their own people. and that was the reason that obama was sort of caught in iran. she didn't know how to support the moderates during the uprising -- wasn't a revolution because it didn't work -- after the election. how could we support them without damaging them? in their own country. >> i think that we -- you're right, we don't want to be sort of -- we do undermine them if we help them overtly. there was an american effort to try to get -- there was this thing, internet in a suitcase, u.s. state department effort trying to get technology in a country that would allow information in. in iran they have had a hard time blocking the internet. not a great answer but guy back to ryan crocker wheel. ask the moderates what they want us to do and they might not want us to publicly say we back them because it hurts busts i cite the green revolution as an example of this epic struggle going on across the regions.
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there were hundreds of thousands of iranians that wanted change, those were real crowds and they exist. as i said in the beginning i don't have answers to these complex questions, but i would -- i guess identity credit the administration in iran with sort of backing off and -- because it is a problem if you're seen as too pro american, it's an issue. on just quickly on pakistan, i believe that there are times when drone strikes should be used as a last resort to get militants, senior militants in very remote areas, but we need to minimize them. make them public. they should be handed over to the american military. there's a clear process -- and you can laugh about american military processes, -- admit when we pay civilians, pay compensation, explain who we're targeting and why and they can all this public. we are absolutely shooting ourselves in the foot with this secret drone strike approach. >> thank you.
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>> i think that will work out a little bit. i guess i would take a little issue with the weapon of mass destruction, the bomber is actually the weapon of mass destruction. it wasn't bird flu that brought down the pentagon or the world trade center or anthrax. the real issue was stability and boston proved that all it takes twice creatures to create havoc month hundreds of thousands of people. so one part of that stability involves proper security, and that involves all sorts of places in the world, especially in the middle east, since what takes down a lot of people is anarchy. the other part is corruption. you have not said how to deal effectively with corruption on
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all levels. you have talk about the top but not the bottom. and then the other little impetus that goes on, are drugs. plus, that becomes another additive factor with polygamy, lots of families -- >> can you -- >> the question is, how do you bring order to disorder when you have a tremendous number of illiterate people and high-tech companies that come into an area that really are out of their league in dealing with illiteracy. >> i think you allow local people to sort out these issues, and i think there are people in these countries trying to improve education, trying to improve the economies, and i think that you train journalists, as my friend kathleen has, to expose corruption locally. believe it or not there are independent tv stations now and news stations in afghanistan and
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pakistan that attack the corruption. they're not perfect. but they -- afghans are as outraged by the corruption, and pakistanis are, as americans are. these societies -- i apologize but this sort of stereo type of -- there are problems of illiteracy but they're much more complicated than some massive ill literacy and polygamy. there are forces atlanta are just like here. they want better government. they want less corruption. and i think we kind of have to trust them to train them, give them the opportunity to try to solve these problems themselves, and i just don't see how walking away from the region improves any of the problems we talk about. >> how would would you deal with these creatures in guantanamo who are on the food strike? >> i first thing it's wrong to call them creatures. they're human beings -- [applause] >> and whatever they've done i think it's important that we
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should try these people. i think that there's a general sense -- and people talk about there are cultural difference skis want to say everything is the same, but one of the strongest things you say in the arab spring the tradition in islam is the idea of justice, and i think not trying them, holding them for now 12 years without trial, hurts or cause and makes average people in the region think we're hypocrites, we say we support the rule of law and democracy, yet we take these people and we hold them for 12 years without trial. and believe me, it doesn't intimidate these would-be bombers, a place like guantanamo. they have no expectation of fair treatment from american officials. they're delusional. i lived with them for a while. so, being tough on these guys, it's not going to have any impact whatsoever, and we just hurt ourselves by holding them there for so long without trial. >> i'll finish out by saying what do these people exp

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